Baingan masala, aka Brinjal masala, is a popular eggplant recipe from the Northern regions of India. This recipe is an adapted version of bharva baingan, aka stuffed baingan curry.
However, both baingan masala & bharva baingan are different. The making process is almost similar, but ingredients differ in both recipes. Let’s see what the individual differences are.
Baingan Masala v/s Bharva Baingan
The first & the foremost differentiation is the stuffing. In other words, the bharva baingan recipe requires stuffing masala into vertically slit brinjals.
On the other hand, baingan masala has no masala stuffing in it. So although brinjals in the baingan masala recipe are vertically slit yet, they aren’t stuffed.
Secondly, brinjals in the brinjal masala recipe need to be shallow fried. So, first, shallow fry your brinjals & then cook in the masala curry.
The process in bharva baingan is entirely in contrast. There’s no masala curry to cook stuffed brinjals. Instead, add cooking oil & water, cover the lid or blow 4-5 whistles in a pressure cooker. That’s it. Your bharva baingan is ready.
Now that we know the difference between them, let’s show you how to cook. However, before we begin with the ingredients and steps, let’s first look at the pre-preparations one must do.
- Wash, clean & slit brinjals vertically.
- Roast peanuts before grinding.
- Grind peanuts into a coarse powder.
- Wash, clean & grind tomatoes to a thick puree.
Making Dhaba Style Baingan Masala at Home
The recipe involves a two-tier process with some prior preparations. Therefore, without much ado, let’s cook.
Shallow Fry Brinjals
Add cooking oil & shallow fry brinjals on low flames. Keep stirring them to prevent them from burning. Add a pinch of salt. Just a little only otherwise, your brinjals will become too soft. Keep aside when they are properly fried. Proceed to the next step.
Saute peanut powder along with cumin in hot oil. Doing this will add a smoky & nutty flavour to baingan masala. That’s a treat for your taste buds. It’s like स्वाद जो रहे हमेशा याद. Further, saute onions along with peanut powder & cumin seeds. After that, add the remaining ingredients & saute them till they release the aroma.
Make Curry for Baingan Masala
To make thick curry, add cooking oil & tomato puree. Raise the flames & saute puree till oil separates. Now add coriander & curd. Mix well. Your curry is ready. Add shallow fried brinjals & mix one final time. To cook brinjals nice & soft, add water, cover the lid, & cook for 10 minutes.
Your Dhaba style baingan masala is ready. Serve with butter roti, paratha or kulcha.
Brinjal Variety for Baingan Masala
As I said above, we need a particular variety of brinjals to make this recipe. Usually, we use dark purple brinjals. But for baingan masala, we need greenish-purple ones. This particular variety is also known as the desi baingan in native languages here in India. Refer to the image below.
Surprisingly, more than a dozen varieties of brinjals are cultivated in India. During my research, I came across the types of brinjals. Here’s the link for reference – India Gardening.